Venezuelan legislators warnedthat US sanctions blocking the country’s crude exports could result in a “catastrophic” meltdown of the economy – which is already in dire condition.
The White House has confirmed it’s considering a ban on Venezuelan oil imports and other sanctions if President Nicolas Maduro goes ahead with plans to rewrite the country’s constitution despite widespread opposition, the Miami Herald reported. But the medicine might well be worse than the disease.
“The consequences for Venezuela would be catastrophic,” the paper quoted Venezuelan opposition congressman Angel Alvarado as saying. “It would be a collapse without precedent.”
Venezuela’s 2016 oil exports to the US accounted for around 75 percent of the country’s export revenue, or about $11 billion. More importantly, the US pays in hard currency, rather than pre-purchasing fuel through loans or bartering with goods and services like China, Cuba, Nicaragua and Jamaica.
Without the US cash, Venezuela would be unable to pay to import food and medicine, worsening shortages that have already reached crisis levels.